Summary: Easiest way to install & run PHP on Your Own Computer: Run PHP using XAMPP.
To begin Programming in PHP or to check an existing PHP site or script on your own computer, the very first question you'll face is:
How to run PHP CODE or any File ending with
.php extension on My Own Computer? What's the easiest way?
A PHP Program is the result of many lines of PHP CODE & often includes many PHP files. Also, since PHP is a Scripting Language, CODE written in PHP files are often called PHP Scripts. These are all interchangeable words. So don't get confused by these terms.
A Short Introduction:
The easiest way to install & run PHP on your own computer is using a software like XAMPP.
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Learn key differences among the PHP constructs: include vs. include_once vs. require vs. require_once & use them correctly.
PHP programmers regularly use the functions (or more appropriately known as language constructs) like
require_once to insert useful files in the flow of execution. Although these constructs are used quite interchangeably, there are actually significant differences among them. Many programmers don't know well enough about these differences. I hope this post will help them towards a better coding practice.
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Learn how to handle PHP and MySQL date formatting correctly.
If you ever try to format date in PHP and MySQL, using date (datetime or timestamp) value directly from MySQL to PHP date() function, then you'll get a Notice level error, something like this:
Notice: A non well formed numeric value encountered in ... .. .
Additionally, PHP date() will always return January, 01 1970 if MySQL date is directly used. It means, there is a difference between date in PHP and date in MySQL (i.e. they are not compatible). PHP date function accepts Unix Timestamp, which is different from MySQL date types (DATE, TIME, DATETIME, TIMESTAMP etc.)
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